Amazing Race Recap: One Night in Bangkok

The remaining five teams spent one night (and day) in Bangkok, but the world was hardly their oyster. This leg of the Race included singing with she-males, playing dentist, slogging through soaked streets shoeless and fighting with family.

Let’s Motor: The teams first had to fly more than 400 miles from Phuket to Bangkok, Thailand. Because the airline didn’t open until 6 a.m., all the pairs wound up on the same flight, so this leg really started upon exiting the airport and hailing that all important taxi. The destination was a boat yard in the boonies that none of the cabbies seemed to know how to find, and it immediately sent the cheerleaders and the sisters into a tailspin. Margie and Luke’s driver stopped to ask the sisters’ driver but wound up getting better directions from a passerby, which allowed them to arrive at the road block first.

Water Works: One player from each team had to attach a propeller to the unwieldy rod on a traditional long-tail boat. Margie disproved gender stereotypes by taking on the task, and creaming Victor’s time. They then had to navigate the boats through a maze of canals to locate Peninsula Pier. The challenge was structured in such a way that teams had to pull away from the dock to test the assembly and get the next clue, but most had left their bags behind in taxis or on the dock assuming (incorrectly) that they would be returning to the same spot. The cheerleaders and the legal team instructed the captains to pull over so they could retrieve their luggage, while the stuntmen and sisters (one of whom didn’t even have her shoes on) barreled ahead. On board, Cara continued her anti-Thailand act stating that she was glad they weren’t jumping in the water because it wasn’t “like the turquoise water of Florida.” Dental Wealth: Luke and his mom were first to the detour and the only duo to choose the option where they had to find the Street of Happy Smiles, search through 50 sets of dentures and find good matches for five patients. Luke was pretty useless at the task, but Margie, who credited her nursing background, got right up in there and found every match. The ability to stick her hands in multiple strange oral cavities without gagging got them to the palace pit stop first and earned them a trip for two to Puerto Rico. She promised Phil she wouldn’t faint this time.

The Crying Gang: Everyone else decided to ride for five miles in a party taxi outfitted with an on-board karaoke system and filled with a group of locals singing along to a Thai pop song. The legal team chose this challenge to make their Chinese mother proud, and Tammy immediately called it out that their guests were all transvestites. It’s uncertain whether the stuntmen put two and two together correctly as they were awfully complimentary to the “ladies.” The cheerleaders finished this leg second after a strong showing on the mics.

Paper Trail: The two teams who abandoned their stuff at the first clue box handled recovery differently; it caused intense in-fighting between both sets of siblings. The stuntmen decided to collect before karaoke since was worried about some precious mementos, whereas the sisters completed everything first and tried to check in without their travel documents. Phil had bad news: no travel papers, no placing. They would have come in third but instead found themselves begging a taxi to take them back for to the docks for free (they’d also left their money). The extra mileage wiped out the stuntmen’s budget and they had to pay the fares with items from their packs. They made it to the mat before the others, but apparently paying with personal trinkets is against the rules. They did it twice and suffered a time penalty of two hours for each, The good news for the teams that botched it so terribly? It was a non-elimination round. The bad news for the boys? The remaining three hours of penalty will be added to their start time on the next leg and they will have to complete one extra test. – Carrie Bell

Tell us: Do you think it’s fair that the bartering has a four times worse punishment than sabotage or not following the clues properly? Where do you hope the final five will land next?

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